Three Rivers Counseling Association Honors Five SAISD Difference Makers

Picture of Diana Taylor with her George Pliler Elementary Counselor of the Year award
Picture of Amber Garza with her George Pliler Middle School Counselor of the Year award
Picture of Crystal Chapman with her George Pliler High School Counselor of the Year award
Picture of Yvonne Busenlehner with her George Pliler Multilevel Counselor of the Year award
Picture of Raelynn Cajas with her Friend of Counseling award
State Representative Drew Darby speaking at the 35th Annual Three Rivers Counseling Association Appreciation Luncheon
State Representative Drew Darby speaking at the 35th Annual Three Rivers Counseling Association Appreciation Luncheon
Three Rivers Counseling Association Honors Five SAISD Difference Makers

Five San Angelo ISD Difference Makers were honored by the Three Rivers Counseling Association (TRCA) at the 35th Annual Three Rivers Counseling Association Appreciation Luncheon. Congratulations to:

  • Diana Taylor of Goliad Elementary – Winner of the George Pliler Elementary School Counselor of the Year
  • Amber Garza of Lone Star Middle School – Winner of the George Pliler Middle School Counselor of the Year
  • Crystal Chapman of Central High School – Winner of the George Pliler High School Counselor of the Year
  • Yvonne Busenlehner of Carver Learning Center – Winner of the George Pliler Multilevel Counselor of the Year
  • Raelynn Cajas, Administrative Assistant to the Director of Assessment and Counselors – Winner of the Friend of Counseling Award

“As the director of Assessment and Counseling I am proud of our recipients,” said Rebecca Cline. “This year we are excited that SAISD swept the awards and we know that this event is an affirmation of the work they do on our campuses.” 

TRCA sponsors the annual luncheon to honor those who chose the profession of counseling to assist those who are in need of service. To qualify for the awards, nominations were made based on letters of support from a colleague, student or community leader or the nominee’s supervisor or administrator. Excerpts from the nominations about the three SAISD award-winning counselors include: 

“I believe [Diana] stands out from the norm as a bilingual counselor who is not afraid to help implement intervention with more challenging students ... Diana’s exceptional efforts in serving bilingual students extend beyond language translation; she creates an environment where cultural nuances are acknowledged and embraced. Her ability to bridge linguistic and cultural gaps fosters a sense of belonging, ensuring that every student feels understood and supported … Her dedication extends beyond the school setting, making a meaningful impact on the lives of children in her own community who may face additional challenges and uncertainties ... This dual role showcases a rare and profound commitment to the overall well-being of the students, emphasizing her belief in the transformative power of nurturing environments both within and outside the school walls.” 

“Amber is specifically assigned to 6th grade because of her warm and welcoming attitude and approach to students entering middle school. Middle school can be an unfamiliar, lonely and, unfortunately, scary place for some students as they transition from an elementary that has been their academic home for 6 years… Parents of 6th graders also look to her for guidance for their children as they make this transition. As with all counselors, Amber's job is not limited to direct student services. She also serves students through appropriate scheduling and seeing to all 6th grade 504 needs and attends all 6th grade ARDs. She attends transitional 504 meetings and ARDs for 5th graders planning to attend Lone Star so that she can guide their scheduling and advise appropriate accommodations for middle school students. This also gives her unique insights into the needs of these students before they ever arrive on our campus. Amber also oversees all incoming 6th grade students' requests and adjusts them accordingly regarding placement into honors level classes and electives.”

“Crystal goes above and beyond for her students. She supports them academically and more importantly emotionally without wavering. Along with supporting her students she is a wonderful shoulder to lean on for coworkers. She constantly shows how much she truly cares by checking in multiple times. This helps to create a positive environment in the counseling center at Central High School. Crystal is also the main contact for our dual credit partners, ASU and Howard College. She does a wonderful job educating the students on all their post-secondary options. Her passion for her field is evident in all her actions and relationships she builds.”

“Yvonne Busenlehner is a dedicated DAEP/AEP school counselor who strives to provide a high-quality and effective comprehensive school counseling program focusing on whole-child student learning and overall success. Because DAEP includes all schools within San Angelo ISD, Mrs. Busenlehner works vigorously to tailor her school counseling program to meet our school district's wide array of needs. A few of her significant contributions include facilitating quarterly parent nights and building strong community partnerships. She also demonstrates high proficiency in engaging students in guidance lessons focusing on real-world scenarios faced by our at-risk population … Mrs. Busenlehner is one of our strongest proponents in advocating for the needs of our unique population. She is a fierce champion for equity in education and will not back down when it comes to meeting the needs of our at-risk population. She has established genuine relationships based on mutual respect with students and parents.” 

“[Raelynn] does more than support our school counseling programs, activities and endeavors. She goes above and beyond to serve our students, school counselors and campuses throughout our district. She epitomizes what is characterized as ‘above and beyond’. Once a month we meet during Professional Learning Communities, she prepares for our meetings by contacting agencies, presenters and assisting with preparing the agendas … She consistently sends us emails and text messages of appreciation throughout the year and always finds ways to show deep appreciation. Every holiday we will find small tokens of appreciation from Raelynn sent to us through school mail. It is the ‘Raelynn’ way of spreading some ‘sunshine’ when we need it the most … She continually looks for ways to serve us so that we can efficiently do our job. She has a servant and humble heart who asks for nothing in return. She truly is a ‘Friend of Counseling’ and is deserving of this award for her continued support to our profession.” 

This year’s luncheon, which took place Tuesday, February 13, included keynote speaker Drew Darby and award presentations in six categories. Also honored at the luncheon were five of San Angelo ISD’s counseling departments for receiving the annual Counselors Reinforcing Excellence for Students in Texas (CREST) award for excellence in counseling. The counseling departments at Austin Elementary, Lincoln Middle School, Lone Star Middle School, Lake View High School and Carver Learning Center were all recognized for receiving CREST awards earlier this month.

SAISD school counselors are certified, experienced educators with specialized training and master’s degrees in school counseling who focus on classroom guidance, individual student planning, responding to student needs, and supporting the school and district’s mission and vision to create a net of resources for students and families. The combination of their training and experience makes them an integral part of the total educational program to fully serve our students. 

Please join us in congratulating and thanking our outstanding TRCA award winners! 

To stay up-to-date on San Angelo ISD, please visit the SAISD website at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

About Three Rivers Counseling Association

TRCA is the local chapter of the Texas Counseling Association (TCA). TCA leads, educates and advocates to advance the counseling profession, to increase access to professional counselors, and to promote wellness. TRCA serves 10 area counties including Coke, Coleman, Concho, Crockett, Irion, Runnels, Schleicher, Sterling, Sutton and Tom Green County. For more information, visit